Time seems to stand still as the stranger stands in front of us, his eyes appraising each one of us, a smirk forming on his youthful yet aged face. No one speaks or moves so I take the time to study him, his hair was long and a shock of black ingrained with electric blue making him appear quirky before you even looked at his piercing silvery green eyes rimmed with kohl that flashed and glinted in the moon light.
His teeth appeared sharp and his smile, though admittedly cute, had a hint of mischief, from head to toe his clothing seemed to represent his personality not a single sign of casual being a word in his vocabulary. He wore plum coloured suit trousers accented by a black and oddly starry shirt, that shimmered different colours under the moonlight, and waistcoat topped off with a dramatic trench coat that looked like it had hidden wonders from everywhere and anywhere stuffed in its pockets.
Still everyone was speechless at the mere presence of the funny man and I felt his eyes glance over me more than was necessary. “I mean what a show!” he explains carrying on as if nobody is staring at him “You my wee girl have power! Are you a warlock, witch, fairy?” he lists off and it takes me a moment to realise that he is actually questioning me, his accent confusing and northern, further north than I’d ever been.
I stumble over my words in reply; it’s hard to define your ‘species’ as a descendant of the Oracle when essentially you’re just a hyped about human “Erm… well human.” I say with uncertainty and again his grin spreads from cheek to cheek.
“Aye that’s lovely. I suppose it’s rude to not introduce myself. I am Nevan and if I do say so myself a damn good warlock.” He bows his introduction and winks at me; I’ve got to admit I blushed slightly at his charming demeanour. My blush seemed to catch Rafe’s eye and he clears his throat before stepping forward and slightly in front of me. “We’ve met.” Rafe says with a nod of acknowledgement towards Nevan and Rao does the same, a wolfish grin spreading on his lips as if he’s an old friend “I’ve missed you old friend.” … Well that cleared that up then.
Time seemed to pick up again and Rao appeared to be playing catch up with the mysterious Nevan, as Rafe wrapped his hand around my arm and pulled me towards the now diminished fire to see if we could coax it back to life. Once the fire was roaring we all sat around, Rao and Nevan’s hushed tones never stopping and neither did Nevan’s constant gaze that seemed to burn through me.
Eventually I began to doze off with my head resting against Rafe’s shoulder, without my realising, until Nevan’s voice drifted across the open flames. “Sorry to interrupt,” he cleared his throat and I blushed as I sat up so fast I nearly got whiplash, his and I noticed Rafe’s eyebrows rose in amusement, that slow crooked smile raising on his lips as he continued to stare into the flames, as if he was perfectly fine with me leaning against him.
“But I didn’t happen to catch your name?” he continues ending with a question, I frown slightly, I’d assumed that Rao would have told him, they’d been talking long enough. I clear my throat before replying my mouth suddenly feeling dry. “Dahlia.” I say and I see his eyes glint in the fire almost in acknowledgement, he smiles, his kohl rimmed eyes piercing mine.
“Dahlia? What a beautiful name, may I know your family name?” I frown again, it wasn’t an unusual question to ask but telling him felt like I was signing a contract that I didn’t know the details to. “Arcana.” I say barely louder than a whisper and a breeze drifted through our little camp site whispering the words to him. I shiver pulling my jacket around myself and jumping slightly as I feel the weight of Rafe’s coat fall on my shoulders. “Thank you.” I whisper gratefully smiling up at him.
Rafe smiles, “No problem,” he pauses for a moment, considering what to say before he speaks again “I’d expect you to be full of questions.” He says and I know he’s referring to tonight’s events, but for once in my life I felt content, like I already knew the answer even if it wasn’t conscious, I didn’t need to ask questions, for now anyway. I smile slightly and mumble incoherently as sleep presses against my eyelids. Just before I drift off I feel his arm wrap around me and my head falls to his shoulder like a perfect fit in the jigsaw puzzle.